Throughout a latest look on RT’s Going Underground, System of a Down frontman Serj Tankian mirrored on his earlier interactions with late Atlantic Information CEO Ahmet Ertegun, who was the son of a Turkish ambassador.
Tankian has been one of the vocal proponents for the popularity of the Armenian Genocide inflicted upon the Armenian inhabitants by Ottoman Turks. The singer’s grandparents had survived the period and Tankian and his Armenian-American bandmates have used their platform through the years to carry consideration to the battle. In 2019, the U.S. Home and Senate lastly handed a invoice recognizing the killing of 1.5 million Armenians by the Ottoman Turks as a genocide.
Talking on his first interplay with Ertegun, Tankian recalled (as transcribed by Blabbermouth), “I had a band that we had signed to my imprint, to my label, and there have been numerous report firms excited about doing a distribution deal. So we met up with Common Information, Atlantic Information on the time, and some others in New York with the band. And after the assembly, I bear in mind the CEO of Atlantic saying, ‘Hey, do you wanna meet the previous man? He is nonetheless right here. His workplace is correct subsequent door.’ And I am, like, ‘Ertegun?’ I am, like, ‘Yeah, I might like to.’ He signed Ray Charles and Led Zeppelin and all these bands. So I went in and sat down with him and had a pleasant 10-minute chat.”
Tankian continued, “I can not let you know anything, however I received an inkling that he had some defensive side of me being Armenian. After I mentioned, ‘Hear, simply so , I am Armenian. I grew up in Los Angeles,’ and this and that, and he form of received defensive. And it did not actually have an effect on me a lot. So I received on Google and I typed ‘Ahmet Ertegun’ and I typed ‘Genocide’ after, and I spotted that he had been accountable for funding international coverage institutes and chairs at universities who employed authors and writers that denied the Genocide. And that was an awakening for me.”
However, as Tankian revealed, that was not his solely interplay with Ertegun through the years. He recalled a gathering at a later date through which music mogul wished to debate the subject that had divided their ancestors.
“He referred to as me, and he mentioned, ‘I feel the Armenian Genocide ought to be acknowledged,'” Serj recalled. “And I mentioned, ‘Okay. Nice. Why do not you write it on a letterhead and ship it to me? And I will not publicize it except my again is in opposition to the wall with my neighborhood.’ And he mentioned, ‘I can not try this, as a result of I’ve properties in Turkey. I do not know what would occur to that.'”
Tankian mentioned that he didn’t need any violence enacted upon Ertegun’s household, including, “It was very clear that that was an incendiary concern. And although he was very shut, he mentioned, to the prime minister and the federal government officers there, he did not wanna take that step.”
Ertegun’s contemplation of his need to make a public assertion was confirmed after his 2006 loss of life. Initially revealed in 2006 and later up to date in 2011 by Huffington Post, author Harut Sassounian additionally shared his recollections he had with Ertegun concerning the Armenian Genocide recognition previous to his passing. In keeping with Sassounian, Ertegun was contemplating making a public assertion and so they stayed in contact, however sadly a public assertion didn’t occur previous to his loss of life. Sassounian additionally shared that he didn’t wish to publish his column whereas Ertegun was alive, fearing hate mail and threats that will come to Ertegun with the declaration.
See extra of Tankian’s dialogue beneath.